VARX Heat Report: Daytona


Global Rallycross Daytona officially kicked off the double-header weekend today on the .931-mile circuit inside Daytona International Speedway. Despite having two scheduled practice sessions, track time for the VARX crew was limited due to precautionary changes to both No. 41 and No. 34 machines. The Rockstar Energy Drink Beetle struggled during the first knockout qualifying session of the season, while the SHARK WEEK Beetle did not make an appearance. Teammates Scott Speed and Tanner Foust put in 15 and 6 laps, respectively, before all on-track action was canceled due to weather.

Live TV coverage of Global Rallycross Daytona can be found on NBC  at 2 p.m. ET this Sunday and on Stay up to date on all things Andretti via and @FollowAndretti.



Thoughts on heading into the double-header weekend…

“There’s no question that we have to play the weekend smart, but I think that’s kind of GRC in general. I mean, from our perspective, you’ve got to think that every single time that car’s rolled out on the track, we’ve been on pole by over two tenths — the closest margin is probably around two tenths, but normally it’s two or four. So when you’ve got that kind of margin of speed on the field, you’re playing defense. This weekend’s no different. So that’s going to be the game plan. It’s a doubleheader — the mistakes and problems will cost you more, there’s no question. But you also get more time to figure out the track too, which is maybe not in our advantage, because we feel like learning tracks quickly and getting up to speed quickly is one of our biggest strengths, so we’ll see.”

On today’s qualifying and heat round…

“Today was a tough day for the whole crew. We have put so much time and effort in to get these cars up to speed during the offseason and right now we’re just disappointed. Luckily, it’s a double-header weekend, so we still have another shot at getting this SHARK WEEK Beetle into the main show. All we can do now is look forward and figure out how to minimize our mistakes.” 

On his return to Daytona International Speedway…

“I think the track flows a bit better this year. After the jump, it’s a little less of a 90 left in the dirt, and it’s a little bit tighter getting onto the tarmac. But then you don’t have that bottleneck hairpin that we had before, which brought all of the cars together for a moment, but in reality, it spread the cars out because they just drag raced out of that corner down the straightaway. So now, I think there’s the opportunity to get closer on the straightaway and possibly do more passes into the joker and into turn one, which is really what we want.”

Thoughts on today’s sessions…

“Rollercoaster first day in Daytona for the double-header weekend. It’s been an extremely long day dealing with the changes, but the Volkswagen Andretti team has been hard at work getting this Rockstar Energy Drink Beetle back in racing shape. We didn’t put as many laps in today as we would have liked, but it’s better to find these issues now than on a race day. We’ll fight back tomorrow, it’s a whole new day of racing and hopefully we can give the Daytona crowd a good show.”